Marketing tells the masses about your company, products, and services. Therefore, when you stifle this department’s spending, you’ll likely have no sales. However, you may overspend on marketing and start asking for funds meant for human resources. Or worse, cut back on research and development to sustain marketing.
To save your company from such a crisis, control your marketing budget. A marketing budget for a small business can get out of hand if left unchecked. So, check everything; from how much you spend on influencers to the cost of online advertising. Here is a thorough look at the changes you can introduce to learn how to save costs in your marketing budget.
8 Ways to Cut Back on Marketing Expenses
1. Invite Other Teams to Marketing Meetings
Instead of finance and marketing teams working apart, the two should share ideas before marketing activities start to have better cost analysis. On top of that, eliminate any communication gap between sales and marketing. Where the two teams don’t communicate often, you may run two similar campaigns one after the other, yet none has good returns.
Another importance of interdepartmental communication is that you’ll create a marketing budget based on the constraints described by finance. They have cash flow forecasts, so they can tell you when it’s financially possible to run campaigns instead of piling them in one business quarter.
2. Have a Marketing Plan
Marketing strategies require careful planning because they may affect your reputation when you run out of money in the middle of a campaign. For example, you must give customers the gifts or discount vouchers promised in a campaign regardless of your financial standing. Even worse, getting business loans to meet such urgent matters isn’t the same as applying for a quick cash loan for personal use.
There are many fast easy cash loans. For example, a payday or title loan can take care of a personal emergency. It’s not the same with business loans, as you’d need collateral, a disclosure of debts, personal and business tax returns, etc.
4. Change Your Marketing Methods
You’re probably spending more on marketing because of the channels you’re using to reach customers. Of course, each marketing strategy has its perks, and your choice depends on the intended impact and customer demographics.
We’re not saying you should do away with channels giving you a good return on investment. We’re suggesting that you increase affordable marketing channels like word-of-mouth. You can run a complete organic marketing strategy comprising blog post writing and social media updates on your brand’s accounts.
Also, check the cost of traditional advertising channels like television and compare it with the reach of social media advertising. You may also benefit from the publicity earned from corporate social responsibility.
5. Reduce Marketing Overhead Costs
These include late payment penalties for software subscriptions and expensive analytics tools you rarely use. Search for free marketing tools in open source platforms or use features on social media networks to enjoy the basic features offered by paid tools.
For example, use Meta business suite to schedule your Facebook and Instagram posts instead of using a social media scheduling tool.
6. Shift to Paperless Marketing
There are so many changes you can make by embracing digital communications. For example, you can add an email signature to replace traditional business cards.
Further, your team can send digital brochures and book appointments with prospects and investors virtually. Such changes save on printing papers, time, storage, stationery, and notebooks.
7. Eliminate Redundant Marketing Campaigns
Image by Tammy Duggan-Herd from Pixabay
If it’s not working, there’s no need to spend on it. Try several marketing campaigns using various channels to know the one with the best returns. When marketing online, check the spending on campaign keywords to eliminate the ones performing poorly. Online advertising makes it easy because you have data for different keywords before you run a campaign. Another tactic that’ll work is creating reusable content to save on campaign budgets. Instead of building ten campaigns, make three that you can reuse across channels.
8. Embrace Marketing Automation
Don’t hold back when you can automate a marketing function. It can reduce labor costs by making the existing team more efficient. For example, a drip email campaign doesn’t need manual management. You can also free up the time of some team members by automating follow-up and cart abandonment emails.
Another area that can run without manual effort is customer support. However, it would be counterproductive to automate the entire customer service. So, use chatbots to assist customers in the initial stages of your marketing funnel. The chatbots can offer simple solutions to resolve sign-up problems or when a customer is making a payment. Also, consider automating lead scoring so that your team combs through legitimate leads only.
The first thing to do before you reduce your marketing budget is to audit all marketing expenses. Check everything, from what you spend on advertising to the labor costs in the department.
You’ll know where most of your money goes and where you spend the least. That way, you can make budget cuts based on the impact spending has on marketing goals. For example, if your top expense is labor, you can cut back through automation. If you’re spending more on agency fees, you may explore ways to reuse or create content in-house.